Families in rural Nepal often face malnutrition and hunger. Yet young Nepalis often feel that agricultural work is beneath them and that they cannot make a living at it, and therefore they tend to scorn and avoid agricultural career paths.
Through our Agriculture in Schools program, ETC promotes agriculture as a dignified and important vocation, and increase the knowledge and use of best practices in farming, and increase the quantity and quality of available food.
Food insecurity and malnutrition are all too common in Nepal. Clearly, the answer is for farmers to be able to grow more food of better nutritional quality. Unfortunately, young people often have a poor opinion of agricultural work. Moreover, agriculture is usually an elective rather than a required school subject, and many students do not take such courses because they aspire to break away from what they consider a financially and morally impoverishing vocation.
Through Agriculture in Schools, students ages 10-14 and their teachers receive training in best practices, including compost-making, proper sowing and cultivation, etc. Participants learn to appreciate the great importance and dignity of agricultural work. ETC provides the resources to establish a model farm on each school's grounds; participants carry out the work, from tilling and digging of compost pits to final harvest. Students also pass knowledge along to their farming families.
Participants in 2013 will be up to 120 students at secondary schools in which ETC is already closely involved, through our educational sponsorships and/or capital improvement projects. Participants' family members and fellow villagers (400 or more) will also benefit from more nutritious food and a greater respect for the agricultural pursuits which are the cornerstone of rural communities. The skills learned will last a lifetime, ensuring better health and nutrition for future generations.
ETC Agricultural Development program page
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